23rd January 2017

MP Urges People To Be Wary Of Bogus Calls

Steven Paterson MP

Fraudsters Claiming To Be HMRC Targetting People In The Stirling Area

Stirling MP Steven Paterson has urged constituents to exercise caution when speaking to someone on the phone, claiming to be Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, who request personal information such as bank account details.

Mr Paterson’s call comes after a number of constituents locally have complained to his office that they have been contacted with threats of law suits over unpaid debts. Upon brief enquiries, it became apparent that no such debts were owed to HMRC, no such lawsuit was being pursued, and that each person was the potential victim of a telephone scam.

Often, those contacted are initially left a voicemail message that informs them they are to be subject to a law suit from HMRC and are instructed to call back. Sometimes the potential victim is asked for their bank details over the phone, occasionally they could be asked to purchase gift vouchers and pass on the serial numbers – with promises to “settle the case.”

Advice from Action Fraud urges people to:

  • First confirm the identity of the person calling.
  • If you are unable to do that, hang up immediately.
  • Contact HMRC via the official website to notify them.
  • Make Police Scotland aware by calling 101.

Commenting, Steven Paterson said:

“This sort of crime targets those who are vulnerable and seeks to scam them out of substantial sums of money. The dirty tricks used to strike fear into those on the receiving end of bogus calls is what pushes some people to comply with their requests for information or payment.

“I have had a number of constituents contacting my office for advice regarding this matter in recent days and it is important to stay vigilant, speak to elderly relatives or vulnerable people in our communities about the importance of verifying who’s on the other end of the phone, and report any suspicious calls to Police Scotland.”

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